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Etisalat, 8 mobile operators to partner AU on Ebola

Etisalat Nigeria and other Mobile Network Operators across Africa are partnering the African Union (AU) Commission to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The initiative, operating under the hash tag ‘#AfricaAgainstEbola’ will combat the dreaded virus by using an SMS dedicated platform to raise funds for the deployment of African health workers to affected countries.
At a recent Business Roundtable on Ebola hosted by the AU, Etisalat alongside other mobile operators committed to support efforts to fight Ebola by unveiling an Africa-wide three –month campaign dubbed “AfricaAgainstEbola”. This initiative will focus on donations from members of the public who are customers of the operators and will be channelled into fighting the Ebola Virus.
The AU is leading this effort under its African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) mission, which has so far deployed 90 health workers to the three affected countries.
Commenting on the initiative, African Union Commission Chairperson, Her Excellency Dr. NkosazanaDlaminiZuma said: “We are conscious of the urgent need for all of us to do more, and to act fast. It is only by acting together will we ensure that our continent and world is free of Ebola. Let me repeat our call to all Africans to lead the global efforts of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea”.
Speaking on the partnership, Chief Executive Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher said, “At Etisalat Nigeria, we uphold a belief in shared responsibility especially to the society where we operate. Etisalat’s partnership with other operators in the effort to “kick Ebola out of Africa’ reflects the way innovative technology can be used to improve lives. The ability to generate funds through SMS powered by all the operators will support the deployment of Health workers to the affected countries and will go a long way in getting rid of the deadly virus from the African continent”.
The SMS fundraising campaign will use the short code 7979 with local adaptations where technology requires. Customers will be asked to text ‘Stop Ebola’ to this code in order to donate in their respective countries.
Ebola has claimed over 5,000 lives across some parts of West Africa since it was first reported in Guinea in December 2013. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is the largest outbreak on the continent, affecting mostly Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

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